Rates for Aframax-class crude oil tankers leaving the U.S. Gulf Coast hit a record this week, according to three shipbrokers, reflecting strong demand in Europe and the Mediterranean for low-sulfur crude (read: WTI; West Texas Light; Bakken].
Equinor ASA and Unipec, the trading arm of China’s top refiner Sinopec, provisionally chartered Aframax tankers Everest Spirit and Nordorchid, respectively, this week at rates of 245 worldscale points, according to one broker and Refinitiv Eikon data. Both vessels are headed to Europe.
The worldscale rate translates to about $60,700-per-day, well above the $46,800-per-day rate a week ago for Aframax vessels, according to calculations by shipbroker and consultants Poten & Partners. Aframax vessels can carry up to 700,000 barrels of oil.
Equinor and Unipec did not immediately respond to requests for comment.Trump's fault?
And there's a new word/phrase: "worldscale points." Link here. Fascinating. Some phrases from the linked article:
- "worldscale": the code name for yada, yada, yada
- controlled by panels of leading tanker brokers in London and NYC
- oil cargo may be bought and sold many times whilst aboard a tanker at sea
- the cargo owner requires great flexibility -- otherwise could be stuck with unwanted cargo (think "musical chairs")
- worldscale offers that flexibility and normalizes transactions
- worldscale is based on an average vessel with average costs earning an average rate
Zhuhai Zhenrong Co, a Chinese state-backed oil trader, hired the vessel Hormoz for 245 Worldscale points, according to a report from Athens-based Optima Shipbrokers.From twitter today: